About Will Chapman (currently canal boating)
Apart from genealogy, I spend my time canal boating, walking and helping to secure the long term future of Britain's inland waterway network as a volunteer Board Member of the Central Shires Waterway Partnership of the Canal & River Trust. I am also Vice Chair of the Alrewas Neighbourhood Plan, Alrewas being a canal village in Staffordshire located in the West Midlands of England.
I started working on the family tree in the mid-1980's ago when my first cousin, John Woodcock - a noted calligraphist, now deceased - drew a family tree with a few hundred profiles. It was the time when the world-wide-web (www) was developing and our tree grew fairly steadily and by 2009 had grown to over 7,000 profiles and at that point I transferred it to Geni and since then it has more than doubled in size. In 2015 I was honoured to become a Curator of Geni.
Geographically, our paternal branch centres on Cornwall & Devon then latterly London and Derby. The maternal branch has its roots in Norfolk and latterly Yorkshire, notably Wakefield, Leeds, and Cudworth. Both sides have links in the USA and Australia. Since joining Geni, the reach of our tree has grown dramatically and reaches back 50 generations of great grand parents my favourite of whom is my 48th Great Grand Father Constantine I "the Great", Roman Emperor who was bornin Turkey where I lived for 3 years and close to where a DNA test indicates that our paternal tree originated.
For many years, our biggest brickwall was that of Robert Chapman. The 1841 census suggested he was born 1811, and it was only after several years we realised that the 1841 census presented ages to the nearest 5 years so Robert's birth date could have been as early as 1807 and armed with that knowledge we soon found his family in Launceston. 'A lesson to learn when working with the 1841 census!
We have had much more luck on our mother's side and I am hoping that those with links to the Glassell family will join my project on Geni which attempts to hone in on a family rumour of link with the Duke of Argyll. Established connections with Scottish aristocracy exist through the Collison branch which include our 14th GG John Collison of Auchlunies who born in 1450.